Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Beef Data and Genomics Programme: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
I thank Mr. Gleeson for his presentation and the officials for attending. They have had to wait around and it is a pity something so important has been left to the end of the meeting.
I commend the departmental officials on what is a very innovative scheme. It obviously took a lot of engineering to get something like this through. It fills me with pride to think that Ireland does not just go with the flow. We come up with our own schemes and plans. I know there is as much of an environmental element as an agricultural one to this scheme.
I think the overall target figure at the start was 30,000 participants. It was said in the witnesses' presentation that there are a couple of thousand who have dropped out and we are just short of the 30,000. How will it work out in the coming years when we have new entrants into farming? I know commitments could not be given on that in the past. Would the witnesses be confident that a young farmer who starts in the coming years and might be inheriting a farm that is not in the beef data scheme will have some access to the scheme? That would be really important if it is possible. Do they see the 30,000 figure changing much in the coming years?